‘Flightpaths: The Lost Journals of Amelia Earhart’ by Heidi Greco

Caitlin Press 2017

Heidi Greco’s Flightpaths is a captivating exposition into the story of Amelia Earhart (July 1897), the pilot, celebrity author and women’s rights advocate who disappeared in her bid to fly around the world over the equator in July 1937. This year, Heidi’s book commemorates the birth and the disappearance of that iconic woman.

In Flightpaths, Heidi takes us on a soulful and poetic flight of imagination exploring various possibilities in the scenario of Amelia’s disappearance. On the way, the reader experiences tiny explosions of delicate expressions where landing on ‘Howland, the tiny island’ is landing ‘on a hummingbird’s nest’ (dead reckoning, page 18); Amelia’s ‘fears of drowning’ rise like ‘a brook swelling after spring rains – the sweep of water across the window’s glass – rising, rising.’ (july 3, 20). And, at some places, it’s too compelling to just fly over:

‘Not just a mere dog.

More a man than the one
who murdered him.’
(remembering james the ferocious, poisoned, 36)

‘he said he’d buy me a plane
All I had to do
was say yes I do, I do,
All i had to do just
Do be do be do.’
(Gp and me; our story, 42)

‘This morn, I raised my hand to ask,
my silent keeper shook her head,
looked at her feet, walked away,
left me

a piece of fish, wet and raw
on my sodden rice.’
(news, unwanted, 55)

Heidi Greco has published a novella and five collections of poetry including ‘The Amelia Poems’ (Lipstick Press 2009) chapbook that Flightpaths builds upon. And in this, poems and creative prose items are woven into the mystery of the plot.

Most interesting aspect of this book is that the author takes the persona of her subject in order to explore it. The intriguing first-person fictionalized biographical narrative was earlier used by author Susan Crean to explore the life of another iconic woman in The Laughing One: A Journey to Emily Carr (HarperCollins 2001), and, it also had a precursor (Opposite Contraries: The Unknown Journals of Emily Carr and Other Writings). Susan’s The Laughing One was short-listed for three awards in 2001 including Governor General’s, and, it won the 2002 B.C. Book Prize and 2002 Hubert Evans. To me, these are good omens for Heidi’s Flightpaths.

This 96-page book makes for an effortless, smooth and fast read as it references herstory/history. Ordering information is below.

978-1-987915-47-1 / 1-987915-47-X
Paperback
5.5” x 8”, 96 pages
Paperback price: 18.00
caitlin-press.com/our-books/flightpaths

Fauzia Rafique
gandholi.wordpress.com
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‘Those Nutritious Contraceptive Pills’ by Fauzia Rafique

The above image was being safe-kept in a folder named ‘ImagesForArticles’ with over twenty others, and that folder was not to be opened till perhaps 2020- yet here it is.

Last year, i copied this image from Facebook where it was being shared by my friends from around the world as a positive intervention in favor of a woman’s right to use contraceptives, the need for women to be enlightened, and as a way to resolve poverty. I again encountered it last week, this time it was the first item in a video collection of images about ‘today’s modern society’. In that context and if taken as irony it could work but no guarantees, so I stopped and made a comment:
Me: Pertinent, except for the first item that’s racist, classist and affirms colonial perspectives.
Friend: Are you saying that those issues don’t exist today?

Source: ‘Those Nutritious Contraceptive Pills’ by Fauzia Rafique

Getting the ‘name-thing’ out of the way

The booklaunch event of my novel The Adventures of SahebaN: Biography of a Relentlessc Warrior at Renaissance Books in New Westminster was a warm and inspiring event, thanks to Lavana La Brey (for having us), Nefertiti SheLa Morrisson (for hosting), Wendy Harris (for her vision about the novel), Valerie Parks, Franci Louann, Enrico Renz, Christopher Hamilton, Ibrahim Honjo, Sana Janjua, Idrian Burgos and Randeep Purewall.

Many interesting points came out during discussion; some required more time including the one about names that had also come up at the November 20th event at VG Playroom in Surrey. It expresses the thought that there are perhaps too many unfamiliar and difficult-to-pronounce names for the reader to deal with in both my novels, and if those could be made easier or replaced with more familiar names from the same cultural context, it’ll help the reader stay with the story.

Source: Getting the ‘name-thing’ out of the way

‘All in favor of the Burqa Ban party’ by Fauzia Rafique

Those in favor of Merkel’s call for a Burqa Ban not only include the extreme right, right and center of the political spectrum but they also include a large section of white and brown feminists, leftists, atheists, and other shades of ‘progressives’. That’s a lot of my organic community coming out in support of, or not opposing, the legislated use of burqa being implemented by various conservative governments.

I am not in favor of burqa/purdah, but i’m dead against governments who are legislating or calling for a ban on it in Europe, America, Canada, Australia, and in the similar etcetras because all the burqa ban moves in these places are used to fan the ‘national security’ hysteria to take people’s attention away from the real issues of disparity and prejudice they face, and allows these governments to continue their brutal aggression and interference in various Asian and African countries. The burqa bans further stigmatize Muslim women and Islam, and, validate the undercurrent notion that the legislated removal of burqa in the ‘democratic’ societies would or could lead to the liberation of Muslim women. This is sick, and sickening.

Source: All in favor of the Burqa Ban party

‘Consent’ by Sana Janjua

he finishes the foul smelling cheese that i nibbled at and rejected,

tastes all the drinks i poured myself to retch and show disdain for my ambivalence,

drops on my shoulder when cant-pronounce-Arthur tipsy,

sprawls his legs on mine to find comfort in having a feeling fellow-being so close yet so far,

shows me his latest mujra steps perfected to nurture the inner calling,

reveals pictures of testosterone invested naked souls born for us to view and wow as we believe so in our carnal dreams,

picks at the crumbs off my mouth when i baby-eat sushi,

gives the stalker a “maula jutt be damned; i will not let you harm my girl” kinda look when i press,

calls himself a baji, begum, khatoon, jahan aarah, taranum, sangeeta, mastaani.

but, what he doesn’t do is:
stroke my tail bone without my consent,
ever.

(“Consent”, Jan 20, 2017)
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